Chukwuma Soludo and Andy Uba both governorship candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and All Progressives Congress (APC), failed to attend the state governorship election debate on Friday, September 24 to defend their manifestos ahead of the November 6 election.
Other candidates who were absent at the debate were Obiora Okonkwo of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Obiora Agbasimalo of Labour Party (LP), among others.
The debate, titled: “2021 Anambra Governorship Election: Face the Voters”, was attended by only five candidates. In attendance were Valentine Ozigbo, the candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Godwin Maduka, of Accord Party; Ben Etiaba, of Action Alliance (AA); Akachukwu Nwankpo, of African Democratic Congress (ADC); and Geoffrey Onyejegbu, ofAllied Peoples Movement (APM).
Kwechiri Unity Forum, a socio-political group in conjunction with Arise Television had held the debate for all the 18 governorship candidates in the state on Friday night for the November 6 election, to present their programmes to the people.
Reuben Abati, Arise News Channel presenter and former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, who anchored the programme alongside two panellists grilled the candidates on their manifestos.
The governorship candidates in attendance took the opportunity to speak on their intended programmes, which dwelt on leadership, economy, agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, security, among others.
Emmanuel Obieze, the co-convener of Kwechiri Unity Forum, told newsmen that invitations were sent to all the candidates, and the group ensured that they personally received and acknowledged their invitations.
“I do not know why they did not attend. We invited all the candidates. The idea was to give them the opportunity to defend their manifestos before the Anambra people. I would not like to say they are afraid of facing Anambra people to explain their manifestos, or to say that they do not have any, because they did not state the reason for their being absent,” Obieze said.